Outstanding dues from power cos pose challenge to announce high interim dividend: Coal India sources

Kolkata: The cash flow problem arising out of the outstanding dues from state-owned power generation companies poses a challenge to Coal India Ltd as its management is deliberating on an interim dividend, company sources said on Sunday.
Top officials of the coal behemoth will meet on Monday before the November 11 board meeting to consider how much payout the company can afford as the interim dividend, they said.
“The outstanding dues from the power sector remain at about Rs 23,000 crore and this is leading to a problem of cash flow which is a major challenge for us to announce high interim dividend in order to help the government during the COVID-19 pandemic,” sources close to the development told PTI.
In the previous fiscal, Rs 7,395 crore of interim dividend at a rate of Rs 12 per share was announced.
“It is expected to be less than last year’s interim dividend which was paid on the basis of estimated annual profit but now it will be based on half-yearly profit.
“However, the company will look to increase the payout given the cash flow problem,” one of the sources said.
Coal India Ltd had posted a 55 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 2,079.60 crore for the quarter ended June 30 in the current fiscal.
The government holds 66.13 per cent stake in Coal India.
During the meeting, the company officials will also deliberate on the financial position for the next 2-3 months, he said.
Bihar’s Darbhanga airport begins operation in connectivity boost for Mithila region
Darbhanga: The Darbhanga airport in north Bihar began operations on Sunday, meeting the long-standing demand of the people of the Mithila region who had to travel for hours to Patna to catch a flight.
As the first flight, operated by Spicejet, landed at the airport from Bengaluru, it was given the customary water salute, while the passengers were greeted with ‘Mithila Paags’ (a traditional cap) and garlands.
The plane then took off for Delhi with 180 passengers, including Darbhanga’s BJP MP Gopaljee Thakur, Darbhanga Town legislator Sanjay Saraogi and MLC Dilip Chaudhary.
Darbhanga will be connected by flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, officials said.
People of the region will save at least four-five hours travelling to and from Patna with the airport beginning operations, they said.
“It is really a good beginning. Hope that infrastructure and other facilities at the airport will improve and flight service to other cities will also start,” said a passenger who arrived from Bengaluru.
A person, who had come to see off a relative at the airport, said that with the airport starting operations, people will not have to miss flights due to traffic jams while travelling to Patna.



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